About the Author(s)
Jane Alison's previous works on Ovid include her first novel, The Love-Artist (2001) and a song-cycle entitled XENIA (with composer Thomas Sleeper, 2010). Her other books include a memoir, The Sisters Antipodes (2009), and two novels, Natives and Exotics (2005) and The Marriage of the Sea (2003). Currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia, she has an A.B. in Classics from Princeton University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia University.
"Jane Alison takes on a demanding challenge, translating substantial portions of Ovid's great epic of universal change into elegant and remarkably faithful blank verse. Her focus is on episodes that involve desire, sexuality, and the transformations brought about by powerful emotion; because these themes are so central to the Metamorphoses, Alison introduces them with a selection of elegies from Ovid's Amores, the collection with which the poet launched his career and in which he first displayed his intimate and knowing familiarity with the psychology of desire. When these selections are taken together, Alison's Ovid comes alive; the Roman poet's great ability to perform contemporary themes through mythical subject matter, and vice versa, is Alison's guiding principle and
Muse."--Barbara Boyd, Bowdoin College
"Jane Alison finds a key to Ovid's Metamorphoses in the transformations wrought by sexuality. She creates her own Metamorphoses by selecting passages that together tell the story of erotic change, the inception of desire through the gaze, its often transgressive fulfillment, and the lasting disruptions and alterations it brings to lovers, victims, and those around them. First-person accounts of love's effects, drawn from Ovid's earlier Amores, tighten the links between mythical narrative and direct experience. Alison's smart and sensual translations well convey a face of Ovid's work likely to engage and intrigue a modern audience. The volume as a whole will entice new readers to explore this sophisticated poet; those who already know Ovid well will learn to read him
differently thanks to Alison's perspective and her nuanced insights into the workings of his narratives."--Andrew Feldherr, Princeton University
"Jane Alison's new translations brilliantly render into English a series of erotic passages from the Amores and various wondrous tales of strange sexuality from Metamorphoses. Alison brings to life the highly visual and poetic content of Ovid's verses and vividly conveys a sense of the Latin meter, narrative pacing, vocabulary, tense use, bizarre forms of naming, and frequent use of the second person apostrophe, making this collection a lively, fresh, and modern version of the Ovidian stories. With Elaine Fantham's essay on Ovid and his Augustan context and Alison Keith's comprehensive overview of gender and sexuality in the ancient world, this book makes for a wonderful introduction to Ovid and his erotic poetry."--Patricia Salzman, Montclair State University